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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has had this mare since we met three years ago. (just got married last June). I think the mares about 5. My wife tells me "oh I've sent her off to be broke three times, and each time they came back and said she can't be broke". Well I love my wife, but sometimes she can embellish a little bit, and I'm not so sure of the caliber of "trainer" she sent her to. (Probably some young guy that said he could break her so she'd think he was tough, since she was single then). Anyway this girl kicked my wife's teeth out when she was in the stall fixing her water bucket. Apparently she'd be fine one day and let you ride her, and the next she will buck you off. She has been a 1200 lb dog since I've known my wife. No one rides her, no one has even tried (including myself) in three years.

Now I didn't grow up with horses, and I know next to nothing about them. But as I have been feeding and mending fences and cleaning up after one for three years now, I'd like to learn and start riding. Is a 5 yr old mare too old to change? Should I try to get a professional trainer to get her started and teach me? HELP! what should I do?
 

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So this mare is the one that "kicked your wifes teeth out"?
The short answer is, yes, you and the horse both need the direction, supervision and support of a professional trainer. The horse needs to go for training and you, in the meantime, need to work with a riding instructor taking lessons on horses that are already fully trained. Both the human and the horse in this situation need to learn, separately, before the two are even thought of being put together.
 

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Either get a professional trainer for the horse or sell it and buy the one that suits both of you better (the beginner-friendly one). 5 years old is young, and definitely can be trained, but even the trained horse can be challenging for the beginner (depending on disposition, how forward the horse is, how spooky it is, and so on).
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, the mare kicked her while she was just in the stall with her. No provocation. We're lucky she didn't do more damage. Stitches, some new teeth and a couple thousand dollars later.

What kind of $$ are we talking for a good professional trainer and riding instructions? I'm sure it varies across the US, but a roundabout $ would give me an idea of when I could get started?
 

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A five year old mare can be trained, unless there is some physical or mental disability (yes, horses can be insane, too). I would guess she has not been taught any manners in a consistent manner.

You can't just send the mare off to be trained and simply bring her back to the same environment that spoiled her to begin with. The training will completely unravel.

I would find a GOOD trainer with a lengthy reputation nearby. Then, I would schedule training for both horse AND owners. Any trainer worth their good reputation will allow the owners to watch the work. The trainer can then explain everything they are doing and, more importantly, WHY they are doing it.

It may cost a little more for this, but it is crucial for maintaining the horse's training.

You need to do this soon, before any more people get hurt!!!
 

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I would say if this mare has been treated like a "puppy" its whole life and neither one of you have had horses etc..give her up to someone who KNOWS what they are doing (she might be great for someone else) but now that she knows she can walk all over you it will take A LOT of time and PACIENTS to teach her. Find something else you can ride and ENJOY. Her kicking your wifes teeth out is a warning...expecially because there provoking (except maybe you were "in her space") There is no reason a horse should do that and because its extreme and you (i dont know about your wife)are a beginner that is nothing you need to deal with....just think next time it might not be her teeth and a couple thousand dollars, it might be her life.

Thats just my thought
 

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I'm going to be blunt with you. Do not learn to ride on THIS horse.

THIS horse needs a serious attitude adjustment and correct handling. You can only learn that first hand with the help of a trainer.. otherwise it's going to be a very bumpy, painful road.

I think you should find a trainer that can help you both with groundwork and with riding. Riding horses that aren't hot pockets.. they should be nice and level headed.

Also I think that you should look at finding a beginner safe horse for you and your wife.. perhaps sell THIS one to someone that is looking for a project.

Your poor wife though.. hopefully her confidence is still intact.
 

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Hi Newby1, I have a very different suggestion. Your wife has had the mare for three years and has sent her off to three trainers and hasn't been able to ride much during that time? I take my hat off to your wife, it sounds to me as though she is very committed to the mare - lots of people would have just sold her by now. Huge respect to your wife. I suggest she look at Friendship Training - easy to find with a google search. They also have a Yahoo group she could join if she wanted to get more of a feel for it. I started a thread on it here a while ago called 'Friendship Training does work'. It has helped me greatly with my 10 yo gelding who had been described as 'can of worms', time bomb', etc. People with lots or marginal horse experience can do it and it has helped turn around some extremely aggressive horses, as well as those who had been badly treated in the past.

I would be very happy to talk more about my experiences with it if your wife wanted to message me privately. I hope she recovers quickly.
Regards
Frances
 

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Hi Newby,
Welcome to the Horse Forum -- (and welcome to the world of spoiled horses.)

I have spent a lifetime straightening out spoiled horses. I have learned that while almost all of them can be 'fixed', most have far poorer dispositions than what nice, trainable horses that make kind natured family horses have to start with.

Right now, nice horses are cheap. I would highly recommend selling this one (would be a money saver to give her away) and buying a nice, 'user friendly' horse that is trained and is easy to get along with.

You could put 2 or 3 months training in this one at $750.00 or more per month and still have a hateful wench.

It bothers me a lot that 3 people could not get along with her. I would want to know a LOT more about their qualifications and would rather talk to them before I decided to put a penny in this mare. You could very well just be putting good money after bad.

The other thing to think about is your wife's confidence. She is not going to be comfortable on this horse if you spend $10,000.00 trying to make her be a different horse. She needs a confidence builder -- not a horse that has already injured her. This is just not a good plan.

There is an saying among old horse trainers "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***!" It is crude, but it is pretty true.

40 or 50 years ago, our choice of horses was pretty limited. You trained what you had or what came down the driveway. The biggest single thing that has happened in the last 40 years is that we (breeders) are breeding a lot better horses with a lot better dispositions and lot more ability.

Breeding and prospects vary SOOOO much, that we still breed our own prospects when we could buy them for 5 or 10 cents on the dollar (or less) of what we could buy them for.
 

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WElcome Newbie! Please please do not try to learn to ride on this horse! THe way the market is right now you could probably get 2 nice horses and you and your wife could ride. I would rehome the little wench and not look back. Personally if I had one-trained or not-who knocked my teeth out unprovoked-i would never ever trust it again. It would have been gone by now. I can only afford to have one or two, so I cannot tolerate behavior like that. SOme I feel confident enough to deal with, but that, along with the fact that she has been to 3 trainers-she needs to be gone and you need to get on with something you can enjoy. Your wife too. Horses should be fun. That is why we own them.
 

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Eeek... please don't try friendship training. It may work for some, and that's great, but since you are new to horses and this one has already proven dangerous, she needs a VERY firm hand. Friendship training does not offer this.

Honestly, I think you'll be risking life and limb if you try to deal with her yourself, and wasting money on training for her because she is essentially an unknown quantity. Three others couldn't break her, so who says the fourth can? Go get a horse you know is broke and start taking lessons. It may be hard for your wife to let go of this mare, but I believe there is a thread of here entitled "playing the hero: when to know to call it quits" or some such. I suggest she read it...

Best of luck to you, and welcome to the wonderful world of all things equine. ^^
 

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Eeek... please don't try friendship training. It may work for some, and that's great, but since you are new to horses and this one has already proven dangerous, she needs a VERY firm hand. Friendship training does not offer this.

^^
Arrowsaway, I understand your concern but I think you misunderstand what FT does. It teaches a horse what is not acceptable (as kicking clearly is not). :) It is not about just being friends with a horse, but about removing unnecessary stress and improving communication between horse and human so these accidents don't occur. The primary consideration is always the safety of both the human and the horse. There is a rather stringent application program and people are not accepted into the program if the instructor thinks that the circumstances are such that the person and horse won't benefit.

The lady has had the horse for three years, I had only been around horses about 18 months when I started FT with my gelding. It has helped to turn around extremely aggressive horses - one member had a very dominant and aggressive TB gelding that had almost killed a friend and had kicked her in the head; she was advised to have the horse put down. Now people comment on how trusting he is. Another lady whose story comes to mind has a mare everyone else was afraid of - she would literally attack with no provocation. She is now becoming a trusted friend.

FT does help to set boundaries with the horse - my gelding had been biting at me and becoming more dominant with me before FT, that has all changed. :) He is an extremely stubborn and strong minded horse and I was not a confident person before this, yet it is helping us enormously.

That the mare has not done well with three trainers might just mean they all used the same inappropriate methods with her.

If the lady has stuck with the mare for 3 years she clearly cares for her, and has nothing to lose from at least checking out the FT website or joining the Yahoo Group and talking with the other members there (most of whom have done FT) about their experiences.

:) I understand scepticism about the program - it is indeed a very different approach - perhaps that is why it is so effective in difficult circumstances, as this one sounds to be.

Regards
Frances
 

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Arrowsaway, I understand your concern but I think you misunderstand what FT does. It teaches a horse what is not acceptable (as kicking clearly is not). :) It is not about just being friends with a horse, but about removing unnecessary stress and improving communication between horse and human so these accidents don't occur. The primary consideration is always the safety of both the human and the horse. There is a rather stringent application program and people are not accepted into the program if the instructor thinks that the circumstances are such that the person and horse won't benefit.

The lady has had the horse for three years, I had only been around horses about 18 months when I started FT with my gelding. It has helped to turn around extremely aggressive horses - one member had a very dominant and aggressive TB gelding that had almost killed a friend and had kicked her in the head; she was advised to have the horse put down. Now people comment on how trusting he is. Another lady whose story comes to mind has a mare everyone else was afraid of - she would literally attack with no provocation. She is now becoming a trusted friend.

FT does help to set boundaries with the horse - my gelding had been biting at me and becoming more dominant with me before FT, that has all changed. :) He is an extremely stubborn and strong minded horse and I was not a confident person before this, yet it is helping us enormously.

That the mare has not done well with three trainers might just mean they all used the same inappropriate methods with her.

If the lady has stuck with the mare for 3 years she clearly cares for her, and has nothing to lose from at least checking out the FT website or joining the Yahoo Group and talking with the other members there (most of whom have done FT) about their experiences.

:) I understand scepticism about the program - it is indeed a very different approach - perhaps that is why it is so effective in difficult circumstances, as this one sounds to be.

Regards
Frances
No Frances, I doubt there was any misunderstanding. There are others of us who had the same reaction. :shock:
 

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This is not a thread about the merits of one training over another. A suggestion was made about FT, and the horse owner can google it for more info. I don't want a thread hijack/debate to happen here.
 

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Just whatever you do, OP, please be careful. Horses aren't like cars in that you can just jump on them and drive without any thought. They are living breathing thinking beings that have good days and bad, and have to learn their basics and manners from professionals or people that really really really know what they're doing or they can be dangerous.

They aren't puppies, but it's fine to have a 'pasture puff' that you don't ride. But if you DO ride, you need to be very safe and consistent and lay down the law.

Good luck
 

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I have a mellow horse. She is 4. I had an offer to have her training finished off by the woman that sold her to me. My horse is so gentle and minds me well that I will finish her as I learn to do the training that is needed. A horse that kicks would be a bit intimidating to me. I would have to really be in my power to go out to work with an intimidating horse. I would also be ready to spend as much time as it takes to work with an intimidaiting horse and I would have to think of ways to out wit this intimidaiting horse. Ways that were safe for the horse and ways that worked.
 

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I dont think this is time for friendship bonding.... and i think we need to say on topic about the fact that this horse has seen three trainers, still unbroke, they are beginners and has kicked his wifes teeth out
 
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